Dangers of Distracted Driving
When we think about an uncompromised focus on keeping people safe, which is one of Faith Technologies’ core values, we’re thinking beyond the scope of a jobsite. We need to be sure it not only becomes our mindset while we’re at work, but also applies to everything we do. This includes something many of us do every day – driving.
In Faith Technologies’ Fleet Handbook, we define distracted driving as anything that involves taking your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and/or any activity that could divert your attention away from the main task of driving.
Distracted driving is something that is both dangerous and disturbingly common. In fact, an estimated 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving during daylight hours. Cell phones and texting are just part of the problem, however, and while stowing your phone is an important safety step, other behaviors or driving distractions behind the wheel may also be putting you at risk. These may include dialing or using a smartphone, texting, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, programming a GPS or navigation system, or adjusting a radio or MP3 player.
Two common types of distraction are:
- Cognitive Distraction: Our brains are only capable of processing a certain amount of information at any given time. When we attempt to perform multiple tasks at the same time, like driving while talking on the phone, we can encounter performance problems. Multiple tasks tend to compete for our brain’s attention.
- Visual Distraction: We can all agree that we have to look where we are going when driving. Regardless, we often see distracted drivers who aren’t looking where they are going. Imagine driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed; that is the equivalent of texting while driving at 55 miles per hour.
Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it requires manual, visual and cognitive distraction at the same time, according to distraction.gov, the U.S. government’s official website on distracted driving. Because texting takes our attention away for an average of 4.6 seconds, those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Distraction can keep you from driving safely in multiple ways. Any interruption, regardless of how quick or harmless it may seem, should be avoided when you are behind the wheel. Parents can set a good example for children by modeling attentive driving, including putting away the phone and not eating while at the wheel. Help keep others safe by avoiding sending text messages or calling someone you know is on the road, to prevent them from diversion.
At Faith Technologies, the safety of our employees off the jobsite is just as important as safety at work. Keep your eyes, hands, and mind on safe driving every time you’re behind the wheel.